Barry Hughes (Letters, 27 October) writes that I must be viewing pre-1948 medicine through rose-coloured spectacles when I say that there were high standards of patient care pre-NHS.
I have no idea where he gets the information contained in his rant from, but much of my information was gained from older relatives who were patients, and others who nursed in the likes of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in the 1930s and 1940s.
My own experience was as a patient having a defect remedied in my left foot during a two-week stay in Peel Hospital near Galashiels, in 1946.
Britain’s hospitals, doctors, nurses and other staff had coped well, especially during the huge influx of foreign troops when the population of those islands reputedly doubled for some months, plus the massive numbers of casualties, all in the 1939-1946 period of the Second World War, and for Barry Hughes to try to mix up those times with conditions from decades and centuries before is despicable and deeply insulting to those who worked in the service little more than 60 years ago.
A time when the basic standards of cleanliness, and infection control for just one instance, seemed to have far exceeded those of today.
Yes, the NHS was a good idea in 1948, possibly even a world leader for a few years, but no matter how much the Left hate the thought, the rest of the world is moving on and our moribund monolith will either have to have a massive makeover to bring its costs into line with those in other countries, or it will have to go.